Top Things You’ve Gotta do in Segovia, Spain
If you’re reading this post it’s likely that you already have plans for a day trip to Segovia, Spain. Maybe you’re planning on traipsing around this Spanish town for a weekend or longer. Or maybe you’ve never heard of Segovia and now you’re curious about what all there is to do there.
Whatever your reason, I’m here to share some fun things to do during your trip to Segovia.
I’m not gonna lie: a trip to Segovia wasn’t anywhere near our radar when planning our two-week trip around Spain and Portugal.
But then we stumbled on Europe From Above on Disney+ and we sat captivated watching Segovia featured in their “Spain” episode.
One thing led to another and we ended up watching Rick Steeve’s episode on Segovia immediately after that. By the time the show was over, I changed our plans, booked a place for us to stay, and was planning our day trip to Segovia.
This was one cool stop on our road trip around Spain and Portugal during spring break in 2022, and I’m excited to share it with you.
ALSO, we’re big nerds, and the first time we heard the name, “Segovia,” it sounded a lot like “Sokovia” from the Marvel movies…so we kinda got an extra kick out of that.
Quick Tips for a Trip to Segovia
- Make reservations for restaurants, even if you’re not there during peak tourist season. You don’t want to miss out on cochinillo (suckling pig). Segovia is known for it, and I’ll mention it below, so make reservations.
- Get tickets online ahead of time for Alcazar Castle. I figured we were early enough in the season when we were there and that it wouldn’t be busy. I was wrong and they were sold out for the morning. Luckily our plans were flexible, so we could return in the afternoon.
- There are fountains scattered around Segovia with cool drinking water.
- There’s a churro place near the aqueduct, but fair warning. You’ll be tempted by them because they’re right there, but we did not enjoy them. The churros were savory with salt and not sweet. (Or perhaps we somehow ordered wrong, but how can you order churros wrong???). For a classic churro, go here, just a few steps away.
- You can technically park once (down by the aqueduct at this place, for example) and walk all the way up to the castle, but keep in mind that it will be a pretty decent uphill walk…which might not be fun if it’s hot outside. Doable, yes. Fun? Maybe not.
Getting to Segovia
Taking a day trip from Madrid to Segovia is super easy. You can either drive (the best option and only an hour away), hire a guide for a day trip from Madrid, or take a 30-minute train.
The high-speed train from Madrid to Segovia may sound appealing, but it sounds like more work than convenience. You’ll have to get from the Segovia train station to the city’s center (about 5km away), so you’ll have to hire a taxi or take a bus (it’s about a 20-minute ride on the bus line 11 for €2).
Personally, I don’t think you need to spend more than a day in Segovia, making it a perfect day trip from Madrid.
Top Things to do in Segovia
Segovia may not top lists like some of Spain’s major cities, but there’s plenty to do in and around the town. Here are enough things to keep you busy in Segovia for at least a day.
One. The Aqueduct.
The first thing that piqued our interest as a must-see in Segovia is its Roman aqueduct dating back to the 1st century. You can’t miss it—it’s massive, towering high above you as a gateway to the city.
The ginormous stones are held together by the force of gravity—there is no mortar or cement holding them together. We couldn’t get over how impressive it was.
Seriously, it’s huge.
The best part is that you can see it any time during the day or night, so I suggest planning other things and then making your way to see it when you have free time.
Pro Tip:: Walk up to the side of the top (there are stairs just past the visitor’s center) to see it from different angles.
Where to Park
This underground parking garage was perfect for our time in Segovia. It was clean, well-lit, and not too pricey if I remember correctly. Best of all: it pops you out pretty darn close to the aqueduct in Segovia.
Two. The Alcazar Castle
This 16th-century castle is perched on top of a hill looking over all the land below. The fortress is front and center as you drive into Segovia, and once you get past the awe of such a beautiful sight, it might look extra familiar to you.
The Alcazar Castle in Segovia also inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. (I know, I know…the famous castle in Germany [Neuschwanstein] has that claim to fame, too. But apparently, they were both inspirations for Disney.)
Once you gaze upon the Alcazar Castle it’ll be easy to see why it inspired Disney, especially when you notice that the castle was literally built into the hillside.
…and for what it’s worth, my kids actually thought this one was where Sleeping Beauty really lived instead of Neuschwanstein in Germany, and we had just seen that castle a few months prior to the castle in Segovia.
If you want to see the castle from the front to really get a good look at it (the “Sleeping Beauty” view), plug this into your GPS: Mirador de la Pradera de San Marcos.
Now that you’ve seen the outside, it’s time to check out the inside. Get tickets online ahead of time. We arrived about 10 minutes after it opened, assuming we could get tickets for right then and there, and the only timeslots to go inside were slated for the afternoon.
Pro Tip: pay the extra fee to go up the tower; the views are stunning.
Where to Park
When you’re driving up the (should-be a one-lane) steep road to the castle you’ll see a sign for a parking garage for/near the cathedral. We did not park there because we found a spot along the side of the road. However, I think we should have had a permit or paid to park on the side.
Three. Walk to the Cathedral…Then Walk Around
After you leave the castle you may be tempted to head back to town, but before you do that, walk towards the cathedral.
The narrow cobblestone street taking you there is quaint and rustic and beautiful.
Honestly, we thought the cathedral was more impressive from the outside, but if you need to escape the heat then head inside. Otherwise, wander around that area.
There’s an ice cream stand and some vendors, along with restaurants in Plaza Mayor, 17th-century square nearby.
Four. Chow Down on Cochinillo
Vegetarians/vegans…shield your eyes!
Cochinillo, aka “suckling pig” is a delicacy in Segovia, and it’s famous around the city. This pork is so tender they cut it up with a plate…it’s a thing they do in Segovia.
When you order for one person you’ll get a portion of it, but if you’re ordering for a table you can get the full thing. Someone else in the restaurant also ordered it at the same time, so they brought the whole cochinillo out on a platter to cut and serve it right then and there.
My kids wouldn’t touch it (and honestly, 13-year-old me would’ve been SHOCKED I personally ordered it), but it was delicious!
While I loved the atmosphere inside the place we ate, and that it was directly next to the aqueduct, the service at Mesón De Cándido was less than stellar, and they didn’t have a kid’s menu (or even anything that my three wanted to eat).
The food, we (the grownups) thought, was fantastic. We got a steak for the kids to split and it was amazing…even if they refused to eat it.
Pro tip: Several restaurants claim that they have the best cochinillo in Segovia. Perhaps it’s true and there’s one better than the others, but if you’re only there for a short time and want to try it, just go for the place that’s most convenient and has an opening for a table.
Second Tip: There’s a Burger King and a McDonald’s within spitting distance of the aqueduct, so your kids (or picky eaters) don’t have to go hungry by not eating cochinillo in Segovia.
Five. Find the Devil
Trust me: telling someone to go, “find the devil,” is not something that comes out of my mouth often—or ever—so just hear me out with this one.
Near the aqueduct (find the roundabout and go up the sidewalk) is Estatua del Diablo, or literally: a Statute of the Devil.
It was created by José Antonio Abella, an artist, doctor, and author, who sculpted this “friendly” version of a devil to draw in tourists and pay homage to the folklore surrounding the aqueduct.
Legend has it that back in the day a little girl was tired of walking up the city’s steep streets to get water every morning. So she made a deal with the devil, and in exchange for her soul (obviously), he’d create an aqueduct for her before the rooster crowed the next morning. He set out to work, but he lost the bet and didn’t complete it before the cockerel crowed; she got to keep her soul.
Today the Statue of the Devil is literally a photo-op just waiting for tourists to show up and snap a pic.
Where we Stayed in Segovia
Because we didn’t want to be packing and repacking every other day, we spent two nights near Segovia. The place itself was fantastic. There was ample room and it was great for our family of 5; however, it was kinda in the middle of nowhere. The sleepy “town” lacked amenities, but we didn’t mind since we had our own car.
If you’re jonesing to stay closer to Segovia’s center, consider staying here; it has a fabulous roof-top view.
Need more options for a place to stay? Put your dates in and see what comes up:
If You Have More Time in Segovia
If/when you make it over to Segovia, whether for a day trip or for a longer stay, I’d love to hear about your time there and what you did. I hope this post was helpful for you in planning your trip!